Patti is a contributor to the Southern Authors blog A Good Blog is Hard To Find.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Through Rain and Tornado

Through rain and tornado and thunder, our readers came out last night to Cat Blanco's store in Marietta (The Book Exchange) just to hear Mary Kay Andrews and me speak about our Christmas novellas, writing, synchronicity, family and well, the holiday dysfunction we all must endure.

Cat went way over the top -- a cake; corsages; Christmas decorations and of course her annual Children's Holiday book drive (which shows her loving and giving heart). There was such a fantastic energy and everyone had a great time (or at least I did).

My favorite thing about these events is the reminder of this: I am not the only book worm! Growing up I believed I was the only one; the only girl who wanted to read books almost more than she wanted to do anything else. And when eighty people show up in the pouring rain JUST to talk about books -- well, I know I'm not alone in this world!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've heard that the ever elusive "they" say that all writing is biographical. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. I do know that I could never have done all the stuff the characters in my eight novels have done, but it could be more about the themes and emotions than the actions. So, if that is true, then my current novella (THE PERFECT LOVE SONG), which is about balancing career and love, is about my own life.

Balance? Sigh. I've never been able to find it, I'm like a gymnast who always falls off the balance beam during a clutch performance.

I'm consistent about this: I try to do too many things at the same time. All the time. But this week, I think I might have pulled it off. I had a radio interview with AuthorSpeak at noon, but here is the glitch: I was in a car with seven people (including kids) on the way to the "Do Not" miss Auburn vs. LSU game. It worked!I not only had the best time talking to my new bff Eric Mays (the radio host), but simultaneously passed through game day traffic, parked, switched cars and made it to the tailgate (no, I wasn't driving, which would have been even more impressive).

Eric Mays from AuthorSpeak is a witty and intelligent radio host who made this balancing act worth attempting!

Sometimes I fall, but with some help, this time I stayed on the balance beam.

Oh, and yes, Auburn is now #1 in the nation. War Eagle!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Will Keep Me Writing

If I would even think about quitting (which of course I have -- all writers do); If I ever get frustrated or can't find my words or don't believe this angst-of-writing is worth the sometimes-anguish -- I will look at this picture of my friend's little girl with my book over her belly and I'll do this: keep writing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hearing Stories

I am home now -- for the briefest twenty-four hours. But home is home.
This has been an amazing week. And I am never sure how to express my gratitude to all the readers, friends, family, booksellers, and people who make the effort to come see me!
Here is the beautiful part of the week -- I went out there to tell my story, and to my beautiful and wonderful surprise, I heard the most awe-inspiring stories from those I met. From the precious woman who drove in her RV with her three bassett hounds to the woman I sat next to at lunch who raised her grandson and made the entire table cry. I didn't so much tell my story as absorb stories.

For fun: Here are a few pictures to give the smallest taste of joy.
The first is my family of Callahan Women. My mom, both my sisters and my daughter (the boys are my nephews and they might be the most adorable kissable faces known to earth). Then there is the picture of my dad and daughter. Then the most extraordinary publicists, Elena and Tanya from Wunderkind who came out to my NY party. Then my three children, forced to smile for the camera. My sister-from-another-mother Tara Mahoney getting my grateful kiss.

More pictures soon.
Now: recuperation.

Once again, my extreme gratitude. I am overwhelmed in a very good way!

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Week

I'm sitting in Charleston at a friend's house (and let me say this: Charleston in the fall is almost too beautiful to bear) having a bit (well, more than a bit) of champagne, celebrating this amazing week. We, as writers, spend most of our time (as we should) alone with our words and then we are thrown into the big, wide world and we get to see what people think about our words. And this week, I have been blessed greatly with the people, stories, love and kindness of both friends and strangers.

After the launch party in Atlanta, I then went to NY with my mom, dad, sisters, daughter, niece and family best friend for a NY launch. Amazing. Seriously amazing. Much thanks to Kensington Papers, my amazing publicists, Elena and Tanya, my webmaster, Erin, Womrath Books and of course mostly, the readers and friends who came to the party. OH, and my sister, Jeannie who organized the most PERFECT party!

Now I am in Charleston and just left the esteemed Litchfield Books luncheon. What an enriching group of women! They give so much more to me than my "talk" could ever give them. I left inspired and smiling.

Still smiling...

Still smiling...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On-Sale Day!!

It's today. It's today. On-Sale Day. Okay, I used to think that meant the day-after-Thanksgiving herd of sales. But, what it means is this: the day a book goes onto the shelf and is For Sale. So I don't know why we don't call it For-Sale day....

Last night was an amazing night. Magical.
But here's the thing -- hundreds of people came out; hundreds of books were sold; hundreds of flutes of Pomegranate Bellinis were served and what is the only thing my daughter can talk about?? No, NOT me. Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt were there (okay, not for me, but just in the hotel bar with us). My daughter met and talked to Betty White, which trumps Mom signing books all day...

I am so grateful to everyone who came out for the celebration party, and my heart is full of gratitude from all the well-wishes and kind words and notes and posts and...sigh. It is all just so lovely.

The book received a STARRED LIbrary Journal review and this only makes the party and this on-sale day even better!

Next stop -- NYC. I'll post pictures and stories along the way.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seen Before It's Time

Like daffodils that bloom before the first frost, my books seen here on the table at Barnes and Noble. Okay, so that is a little cheesy and the analogy doesn't work quite right, but...they are still beautiful! When I enter a BN and don't expect to see my books and I walk INTO them on the front table -- it is a surreal experience, as if I'm not Patti, as if I'm not the author and the books are completely separate of and from me. Which I guess in many ways, they are!

So, party in four days.
Hint of the GREAT prize to be given away: It has to do with Christmas Concerts and the Fox. With a duet and country music. Okay -- so there you go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Party Time

The thing about being a novelist is that I think many of us have split personalities -- my friend and writer, Ad Hudler, once told me this. "We're all schizophrenic." When I vehemently disagreed, he might have proved me wrong. "You see," he said. "We are writers in private and then when we get in public we're authors."
It's true. The writer in me is private and alone in my office trying to find the just-right word and simultaneously battling the demons of laziness and email/facebook checking so I can fashion a story out of the confusion in my head. The author in me just wants a good party, just wants to hang out and talk about writing and stories and books and....well, anything really.
So after over a year of hiding in my writing-world, I'm going to party (Well, not like 1982, but party I will).

Next Monday, we'll celebrate the release of THE PERFECT LOVE SONG: A HOLIDAY STORY. See the invitation attached here! Please come and have a glass of champagne and just have fun!

Every day this week, I'll post one surprise about the party.
But today, get started on this: If you've ever wanted to be a songwriter -- go to my contest page and hear all about the songwriting contest with Dallas Davidson judging!!

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